The Glittering Wind

Performers

Liepāja Symphony Orchestra
Gintaras Rinkevičius - conductor
Atvars Lakstīgala - conductor
Vestards Šimkus - piano

Series

Latvian composers

Recorded

2014-2018

Compositions

Santa Ratniece

Liepāja Concerto No. 7

Marina Gribinčika

"Kolkas raga viļņi" ("The Waves of Cape Kolka")

Maija Einfelde

"Un pār visu spīd saule trejkrāsaina…" ("And a Tricolour Sun Shines on Everything…")

Gundega Šmite

"Vēja mirdzums" ("The Glittering Wind")

Selga Mence

"Viļņu spēles" ("Games of the Waves")

Description

LMIC 079

Five female Latvian composers have woven tapestries from symphonic miniatures to celebrate the beauty of Latvia. These compositions were performed in the “Mātei Latvijai” (For Mother Latvia) concert at the Great Amber Concert Hall in Liepāja on November 17, 2018, the evening before Latvia’s centenary celebration.
According to Uldis Lipskis, the author of the programme idea: “The concert was conceived as a gift of love and tribute to Mother Latvia. On her grand anniversary we wished to give our country new sounds – not so much to dwell in nostalgic remembrance but to take a sure step into the next century. Not to reflect on the existing, proven body of values but to look towards the cultural values of the future. By associating Latvia with the figure of a mother, it became apparent that precisely women – who are themselves mothers, daughters, sisters – could most intuitively and most genuinely express our attachment to our land and sing the praises of its beauty. What is more, it is these same keepers of the hearths who have through the centuries and millennia passed on to us the spirit of our people and the heritage in which we take such pride.
This album also includes the Liepāja Concerto No. 7 for piano and orchestra by Santa Ratniece – the only opus to date written by a woman for the extensive Liepāja Concerto Cycle, which the Liepāja Symphony Orchestra initiated and has over the course of several years performed and recorded with the goal of encouraging Latvian composers to create new, inspiring masterpieces of symphonic music for future generations. The invitation of Ratniece to compose a concerto for Liepāja was suggested by pianist Vestards Šimkus, who also premiered the work. It is, then, with the live recording of this premiere that the album in your hands begins.”

Review

This Skani production gathers music by five female Latvian composers. In her Liepaja Concerto for piano and (an underemployed) orchestra Santa Ratniece uses the piano for all kinds of bell and chime sounds. The music was inspired by Tibetan bells and is finely woven and delicately played. If you wait for something to happen, you have to be patient until the last movement, although something is clearly brewing up already in the 4th movement. After about 22 minutes there is a little more action in the music and the bells are attacked by brass and drums.
In Marina Gribincika’s The Waves of Cape Kolka we hear the sea at the Latvian coast on a windy day.
Maija Einfeldes And a Tricolour Sun Shines on Everything…is the most atmospheric piece on the CD, mysteriously tracing the colours that unfold under the sun.
The tone poem The Glittering Wind by Gundega Smite impresses with its very virtuoso treatment of the orchestra and multi-layered sound textures.
Selga Mence’s Games of the Waves is also a tone poem, very narrative, and another piece related to the sea that has inspired composers for centuries. There’s really a lot to hear in that music…
The performances are first-rate, and the recorded sound is excellent too.

Remy Franck
www.pizzicato.lu